The sermon from September 30th outlined some ways that we can fight against the lust of the flesh. The Bible is clear that the lust of the flesh wars against our very souls. Therefore it is in our best interest to take strategies from the Bible at waging war right back! Obviously there are tons of practical tools available to help us in this area of our lives. Here are 3 ways that come out of the text in 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8.
First, a passion for God pushes out our passion for lust. If we come to the place where we love God and are passionate for Him the evil desires of our hearts will naturally shrink as our love for God grows. Throughout the first 3 chapters of 1 Thessalonians Paul speaks directly of the love of God to the people of Thessalonica, though they aren’t deserving of it. This is a message that we need to hear. In the Gospel we see God’s love put on grand display. As we dwell, grow deeper in, and remember the Gospel our love for God will grow and our passion for lust will die.
Secondly, we should get married already! I am convinced that our Christian sub-culture over-spiritualizes and over thinks marriage. Some Bibles, with merit, actually translate the idea of 1 Thessalonians 4:4 to be one of marriage. That the way to self control when it comes to sexual desire is to marry. Whether it is found here in the Scripture or not, it is certainly an idea that is very Pauline based on 1 Corinthian’s 7. As unromantic as it may sound, according to Paul, the desire for sex is a legitmate reason to pursue marriage.
Thirdly and finally, in the fight against lust we must remember what is at stake. The passage at hand reminds us that our God is an avenger. His Holy wrath against sin WILL be taken out either on you or on Jesus. The deciding factor is faith, and the evidence of faith is in some sense, is the very fight against sin. This leads John Piper to say, “if you don’t fight sin, you won’t go to heaven”. The Bible is clear in places like Galatians 5:21, Hebrews 12:14, and Mathew 5:30 that the life of a true believer will be characterized by the lasting and enduring fight against the lust of the flesh.
– Andrew Hopper, Lead Pastor